Student Update 5 May 2020
This update is provided for students undertaking Higher National Certificates (HNC), Higher National Diplomas (HND), National Certificates (NCs), National Progression Awards (NPAs), Professional Development Awards (PDAs) and Skills for Work (SfW) qualifications, as well as National Qualification Units, which may be part of college certificated courses.*
SQA released guidance to colleges which require learning and teaching teams to use their professional judgement to assess all evidence and agree upon grades where possible.
The College has been working to develop robust, fair processes that use student evidence to assess if you have achieved the aims of the course.
This does not mean that your course is complete and we ask that you continue to engage remotely and participate in any activities requested by College staff. If you are unable to do so, or if you cannot access materials online, NCL support services may be able to assist: (https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/coronavirus/student-advice/student-support)
Some practical assessment cannot be completed remotely and your lecturer will contact you if alternative assessment methods are to be used.
Need more information? Check out our FAQs below.
Q: Why do I still need to undertake assessments?
A: Although face-to-face learning and teaching has stopped, arrangements have been made in many areas for learning to continue remotely to enable you to complete your course successfully despite the very challenging conditions we are all experiencing. Continuing to engage in assessment opportunities will ensure that you have comprehensive assessment evidence. Staff will review this to decide on a result for you.
Q: Shouldn’t all students just pass the course? It isn’t our fault we can’t continue as normal.
A: It is vital that any award made is supported by a rigorous and fair assessment process. The College recognises the challenge and frustration experienced by our students and is working hard to support you and to ensure that your hard work and achievement is rewarded.
Q: How will my course result be determined?
A: Experienced college assessors will review all the available assessment evidence to assess whether you have met the course aims. Using this evidence, and their knowledge of your engagement and progress, they will estimate your individual success.
Q: I have additional support needs. What does all of this mean for me?
A: Staff will work closely with student support services to ensure the assessment is accessible for you. This could include, for example, a discussion instead of a written exercise if you normally require a scribe.
Q: I have a conditional offer from university and my Graded Units will be impossible to complete.
A: Where it is not possible to complete the Graded Unit (for example because you have no access to necessary resources or equipment), staff will use any Graded Unit work completed to date plus a range of other assessment evidence to predict and award a grade, where it is possible to do so. This will depend on the quality and sufficiency of evidence available.
Q: I haven’t been able to fully achieve my course because my assessment evidence was insufficient. How and when will I be able to complete any units that I did not get awarded?
A: Where you have not achieved your award and this is considered a direct result of the impact of college closure, you should be given the opportunity to engage in further learning, teaching and assessment to complete the unit(s) when conditions allow. Colleges are working to make sure that there is no detriment to student funding entitlements in these situations
Q: What if I don’t get the grade I expected?
A: If you feel that the assessment outcome reached does not accurately reflect your achievement, you will be able to submit an appeal following the College’s academic appeals process.
Q: I don’t have computer access to my college. How will my assessment decision be determined?
A: We recognise that, for some students, there are particular barriers to continuing to engage with learning, teaching and assessment. If there is already a significant amount of evidence in place, it may be possible for staff to use this to predict a grade. However, there may be insufficient evidence. If this is the case, your place can be left open and you should be given the opportunity to engage in further learning, teaching and assessment when conditions allow. Colleges are seeking to ensure that there is no detriment to student funding entitlements in these situations.
Q: I have caring responsibilities and haven’t been able to engage with ongoing opportunities for assessment.
A: We recognise that, for some learners, there are particular barriers to continuing to engage with learning, teaching and assessment. If there is already a significant amount of evidence in place, it may be possible for staff to use this to predict your grade. However, there may simply be insufficient evidence. If this is the case, your entry can be left open and you should be given the opportunity to engage in further learning, teaching and assessment when conditions allow. Colleges are seeking to ensure that there is no detriment to learner funding entitlements in these situations.
Q: Will universities recognise my grades?
A: Yes. Your result and grade will result from a rigorous evidence-based assessment process. This will be a valid result that reflects your achievement throughout your course.
Q: Can I progress within college with an incomplete result?
A: This will depend on your individual progress. Staff will discuss the available options with you.
*Qualifications not covered by this update:
There are a range of qualifications which are not covered by this update, eg SQA National 5 and Highers (qualifications which normally have an external examination), SVQs and qualifications awarded by bodies other than SQA. The College will provide updates on these types of qualifications as they become available.
For any students who have concerns about their qualification, please contact your lecturer in the first instance using their college email address. If this is not possible, NCL Student Advisers may be able to assist: firstname.lastname@example.org
NCL statement on producing estimated grades for National Qualifications – National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher - 1st May 2020.
Following the decision that the 2020 exam diet can no longer go ahead, we are working in partnership with SQA to ensure that students’ hard work is rightly and fairly recognised.
SQA have provided guidance on how NCL should gather evidence for students’, based on their demonstrated and inferred attainment for the required skills, knowledge and understanding for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. This evidence will inform the estimated grade for each student/subject, ie the grade that the College expects students to attain.
We would like to assure students that there are robust internal processes in place which will result in the submission of estimates to SQA by their required date.
Please note that college staff cannot inform students about the estimate(s) made for them.
The estimates will be submitted to SQA, who will use the estimates provided by the College to help them make decisions about certification.
SQA have a range of processes to check that awarding outcomes are as fair as possible to students, whilst providing reassurance to the system, and ensuring consistency across centres.
These processes will include analysis of the College’s estimates and outcomes, student prior attainment (where this is available), progression statistics and grade distributions. These measures are intended as further validation of teacher/lecturer professional judgements.
SQA will use all of this information and produce results which will be issued on 4 August 2020.
Specific qualifications based on skills and competence assessment, and licence to practice are likely to adopt a different approach, as it will not be possible to use existing evidence to estimate results.
In this instance, alternative approaches may be adopted, or in some cases course completion may be delayed until such time as the college campus reopens. As soon as more information is available this page will be updated.
New College Lanarkshire Quality team are engaged in discussion with other relevant awarding bodies. As soon as information is available this page will be updated accordingly and you will be contacted by your faculty.
If you have concerns about your qualification, you can contact your lecturer in the first instance at their college email address.
If this is not possible NCL Student Advisers may be able to assist, you can contact them by emailing email@example.com